Hijab row: What Does It Mean For Hindus and India

In Muslim countries, a Hindu is forced to adapt to Muslim sensibilities. In India, a Hindu is forced to adapt to Muslim sensibilities. This time it’s Muslim girls need to wear hijabs/burqas/niqabs to school two months before exams. Indian schools are fairly secular with strict emphasis on school uniforms. The uniforms for girls and boys is usually a shirt, skirt or pinafore, pants for boys, black/white socks and black socks, girls hair braided and pinned up, boys hair cut-short, no make-up, no nail polish, no mehendi, no flowers. Bindi was permitted as it is seen as cultural as many South Indian Christians wear bindis. The newly manufactured hijab row is creating further divisions in an already fractured and divided society. Hindus are already second-class citizens in a Hindu-majority country. Should Muslim girls be allowed to wear a hijab/burqa/niqab? If they are allowed what does it mean for Hindus? How will it affect us and India?

Before we go into details, lets get acquainted with different types of Islamic head coverings.

Different type of head coverings. Sourced from social media

While the entire protest started with six girls asking for the hijab to be worn as part of school uniform which was not worn by them previously, several other girls who participated in the protest have been seen wearing burqas and niqabs. Posters came in various parts of India with slogans “hijab is our right”, girls are shown in burqas and niqabs. Below are some pictures sourced from various news channels and social media posts that show the dichotomy between what is said and what is shown.

So what are the girls asking for hijab, burqa or niqab?

There is a lot to unpack here. Let’s look at all the arguments thrown around in defence of head coverings.

Argument 1: Hijab is an essential part of our religion. It is our choice to wear it.

Muslims insist hijab/burqa/niqab is an ‘essential’ part of their religion, whether the girl wears it or not, it is her choice. This argument is fraught with contradiction. If it is essential, it cannot be a choice. If it is a choice, it cannot be essential. Islamic scholars themselves have accepted there is no mention of any strict head coverings for women in their holy book. According to the Islamic website Qurania, there is no requirement in the Quran for women to cover their hair. The holy book calls for modesty using a ‘traditional veil’ loosely wrapped around women’s head whereas the hijab is said to be a “religiously-invented piece of clothing that came about after the creation of Islam”.

Argument 2: India cannot ban hijab.

According to Wikipedia, many Muslim countries like Kosovo, Azerbaijan, Tunisia and Turkey have banned the burqa in schools and government institutions while Syria and Egypt have banned face coverings. The burqa is banned in Norway, Austria, Denmark, France, Belgium, Tajikistan, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, the Netherlands, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Denmark China, Gabon and Switzerland. Largest Muslim country, Indonesia, women covering their hair is voluntary and not obligatory. As per Bombay High Court, 2003, Madras High Court 2006, Kerala High Court 2018 and Supreme Court ruling of 2015, hijabs are banned in educational institutions. Also, the Karnataka State Education Act 1983, Section 133(2) mentions school dress code has to be strictly adhered to.

Argument 3: If Sikhs can wear turbans, why can’t Muslim women wear the hijab.

In November 2021 Punjab and Haryana High Court observed that “the turban is an essential religious symbol”. Sikhs in India, the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia and other countries all sport the turban. Whereas, we have established in Argument 1 any type of head coverings is not essential to Islam.

Argument 4: India is a secular state. It is my fundamental right to wear a hijab. Constitution provides me with my rights.

The argument is contradictory. Yes. India is a secular state. Indian administration and judiciary are secular, but not the consciousness of the country. India cannot be an irreligious country like China. We have a long history of more than 10,000 years of Hindu civilisation. If people are expected to be secular, no Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Jew or Parsi will be allowed to follow their religion in public. Islamic sharia law cannot be implemented under the garb of ‘Secularism’. Articles, 14, 15 and 25 give fundamental rights to people to practice and propagate their religion subject to public order, morality and health.

Argument 5: Face coverings are a part of India culture. Hindu women wear purdah.

No, face coverings like purdah are not a part of Hindu and Indian culture. Ancient Hindu scriptures and texts doesn’t mention face coverings as mandatory or essential. No Hindu Goddess like Ma Sita, Ma Laskhmi, Ma Saraswati are displayed with a purdah. In Hindu temple architecture, Goddess’ are not shown in purdah. North Indian women started purdah due to Islamic invasion. South Indian women are barred from covering their head and hair.

What happens next? Consider a scenario where Muslims are granted the right to wear hijab. All other religions will also have to be permitted to wear their religious symbols. Hindus should be allowed to wear a kalawa (holy thread tied on the wrist), saffron scarves, flowers, mehendi, tilak, namam, Christians should be allowed their religious symbol, Sikhs should be allowed to wear a kada and carry a kirpan. Then will Jain students who follow the Digambara tradition be allowed to come to school without any clothes, as mandated by their religion? Digambara is one of the schools of Jainism that practises the virtue of non-attachment and non-possession of material goods including clothes.

Furthermore, where will it stop? Today it’s a hijab. Tomorrow will be a room for namaz in school, then a loudspeaker for azaan, then halal food in the canteen. What if they say kafirs are not allowed in school because their religion mandates it or to remove symbols of Hinduism from school as idolatry is a sin in Islam? Should we change a school named, say Saraswati Vidyalaya, named after Goddess Saraswati, because it’s idolatry in Islam? Then what? Change names of people who are named Vishnu, Shiva, Lakshmi, Ramakrishnan, Venkatesh, Durga, Radha because it’s against Islam? Quran also mentions kafirs/infidels should be killed and that idolatry is a sin. Should Hindus be killed and their temples razed? Should India leave its dharmic roots to please a community that has been responsible for India’s partition?

What happens if the court refuses to grant permission for them to wear hijab? Going by past experiences they will file a petition saying if they are not allowed to wear religious symbols then other students too should be disallowed because India is a ‘secular’ country? Is India a secular country? No. Hindu temples are controlled by the state, they have to pay taxes on contributions by devotees and the state takes away the contributions for non-temple purposes. No other non-Hindu place of worship are taxed or controlled by the State.

So, should India be like France and remove the majority religion from all spheres of our life? France is under no threat from other religions. India was colonised by Islam and Christianity. India has already been partitioned once on religious lines. We cannot afford to forgo our Sanatana Dharma roots for multiple reasons.

  1. India has always been a country known for Sanatana Dharma. During the partition, Pakistan was created as an Islamic nation. Muslims of present-day India were active in the creation of Pakistan. No extra privileges should not be awarded to Muslims in India. Hindus do not have a country to call their own. India’s consciousness will have to remain dharmic.
  2. Removing dharma from our everyday life will create a religious vacuum that will be occupied by soul harvesters from Abrahamic religions. No other religion can be supreme in India other than Sanatana Dharma. Period. There should be no compromise on that.
  3. Islam’s Gazwa-e-Hind and Christianity’s Great Commission to convert India to an Islamic or Christian nation is a real threat. Recent Tamil Nadu school girl, Lavanya’s suicide due to forced Christian conversion and Umar Khalid’s calls for ‘Hindus blood should flow‘ and a separate nation for Muslims during 2020 anti-Hindu Delhi CAA riots is proof of the real threat India faces.
  4. History is witness to the fact that Islamic invasion, Christian inquisition and British colonialism were attempts to forcibly change India’s consciousness to alien brutal and barbaric religions.

The prolonged dehumanisation and demonisation of Hindus in India and around the world has been due to the Abrahamic religions’ need to portray Hindus and Santana Dharma as uncouth, uncivilised and as Churchill famously said “beastly people with beastly religion who breed like pigs”. The hijab row is an intimidation tactic to force Hindus to give in to their demands or else face violence, protests, and roadblocks. According to IndiaSpends, the Muslim population in 1941 was roughly 23%, today they are 13-15%. Are we looking at another partition? The exodus of Hindus has already happened in Kashmir, Kerala is controlled by them, the exodus is happening in Asansol, Kairana, Gautam Nagar, Agra, Bharuch, Ratlam, Moradabad, Tonk, Jaarapata, Bhainsa, Nuh to name a few. Along with racist, Hinduphobic Western media which ignores grave crimes committed by Muslims and Christians against Hindus and fear-monger about impending ‘genocide’, use ‘Hindutva’ and human rights to whip Hindus into submission.

Considering there is always a terror threat to India from Pakistan backed terror groups and more recently revivalism of Khalistan movement, full face and body coverings pose a massive security issue. In 2010 a female suicide bomber wearing a full-body covering killed 54 Shia pilgrims in Baghdad. Scholar Daniel Pipes has also echoed the same sentiment.

2020 anti-Hindu Delhi riots, 2002 anti-Hindu Godhara riots, the genocide of Hindus in Kashmir in 1990, increase in love jihad cases, organised forced conversions, killing of Hindus under the garb of ‘blasphemy’, exodus, cow slaughter, creating saffron terror narrative, calls for secession in Kashmir, parts of North-East and Tamil Nadu is intimidation and bullying of Hindus. Click here to know more on atrocities committed by Abrahamic religions in India against Hindus. Hindus should be ready to protest against the backdoor implementation of sharia and save India and Indians from what Hindus are currently facing in Pakistan. It’s now or never! Enough is Enough!